Noise assessment introduction

So, you think you may need a noise assessment but being a normal human being you have no idea how to go about it or where to start. Be proud of this as the alternative is to be one of us noise geeks and you really don't want that.

This section should give you all the advice you need to arrange your workplace noise assessments, whether you do them yourself or if you are choosing to use an external company. If you are looking for someone to come and do it for you then of course I am more than happy to help and the information on my noise assessment consultancy service is here.

  • When to do an assessment talks about whether you actually need to do a noise assessment at all and gives guidance on when to decide to do one or not.
  • Steps for doing a noise assessment walks you though the basic starting steps of undertaking a noise assessment yourself.
  • This page tells you how often a noise assessment needs to be done and applies whichever way you are doing it, in-house or via consultants. Don't let consultants over-sell to you!
  • The competence page talks about the level of qualification or certification needed for someone who is going to do a noise assessment, either in-house or as a consultant. If choosing a consultant this sets out the qualifications you should be asking to see.
  • People not places is a key part on what you should be measuring.
  • How accurate noise assessments need to be is an important factor as in most places as the noise can change from day to day. The HSE Guidance has the answer to this and it's surprisingly helpful.
  • Duration of assessments is an important page and is an area a lot of people get wrong - while the Regs talk about an eight hour average this doesn't mean noise assessments have to be done for eight hours for each job, indeed wearable meters are generally not great and priority is always given to hand-held noise meters. 
  • Covering shifts is some advice on how to do a noise assessment in a site with multiple shifts to save you repeating the same job over and over again. 
  • Choosing noise assessment equipment gives you some basic advice on what to look for if you are going to invest in some nice new noise assessment equipment.
  • Calibration sets out the requirements for daily and routine calibration checks - did you know noise meters don't require calibration every year? 
  • Octave bands are an important part of a noise assessment, especially if being done by a consultant, and this page explains what they are and what to ask for.
  • And the final page is for those looking to use a noise consultant - these are the issues to look out for and the questions to ask so you are not shooting in the dark on it.